We live in electronic age. It’s swirling all around us. No wonder it is inevitable we jump on the technology train to help manage our business as well. The attorney services industry is no different. It’s moving from paper to the cloud at lightning speed. With that transition comes change and subsequently, the search begins. What are the best case management tools for process servers and investigators to use that will improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction?
Why Case Management Software?
Data & Security Software helps to protect your data and keep it safe. It manages permissions and access to your data, as well as data archives. By using software to manage your data, you eliminate manila folders laying everywhere with stacks of paper getting lost. As a business owner, you want a solution that will ensure the safety of your client’s data as well as your own. When you have physical files, you have to purge them at some point to make space for new files. With your data stored on a server, there is really no reason to purge data. Instead you can have it archived in a safe and secure place for years. With software you no longer need to fear losing jobs in stacks of tangible files. Take action and clear clutter to make for a more organized environment all the while knowing data is digital, safe and secure.
Document Generation and Invoicing with Automation Many software programs currently available can generate customized documents that include affidavits, subpoenas, statements and invoices, and even investigative reports. They are customized and professional with the individual company logo as needed. Having a software program available and able to generate your documents as the job is followed from start to finish is an unbelievable opportunity cost, adds professionalism to your business and makes your job light years easier. This means you fill in fields of information and the software program generates the specialized forms based on the courts your select, by state. Look for a program that offers a dynamic movement through the work order entry process. Same with Invoicing. You set up an integrated billing structure of items, rates and/or commissions and the program is able to auto bill based on billing parameters set. This fully integrated software solution allows a streamlined approach to your business workflow every step of the way, from start to finish. Documents can be dynamically created for your business.
Client Communication and Increased Satisfaction Interesting data shows you can increase client satisfaction while reducing the amount of time spent on customer service. Find a full solution to your business needs that includes a field smartphone app for your servers, a client web portal and essentially, a virtual office. Offering the ability to have your servers send communications directly to your software in real time provides not only instant gratification to your clients, but also a professional appearance. Think about your business future and how to not only attract, but also retain your clients.
Consider a client web portal for allowing clients to empower themselves to check status online as well as enter orders online> There are smartphone apps for work in the field, dispatch work-in-progress task management solutions with quick overviews, and automated emails that following the job from start to finish with real time status. These are the kids of features that make life easier. Have you heard of Smarty Streets Verification or “Suggest a Server” functionality based on zip codes or a rating system? How cool! Having the ability to aggregate information into a centralized workflow is the key to ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.
Going Paperless A digital dispatch board vs paper folders everywhere equals a higher level of organization. Across the board, companies encourage an electronic workflow. Paper is becoming a thing of the past. Ease of use and the security knowing it is stored electronically provides peace of mind. Even though you still serve tangible papers, managing that workflow electronically is the future.
Additional Time and Cost Savings What is your time worth? Case Management software can reduce data entry errors and double entry. Status results can be real time, eliminating wait time for getting status on a job. Reporting becomes an automated breeze with built in report functionality and imaging
What to Consider When Shopping for a Software Program?
Here are a few sample suggestions. By no means is this an all-inclusive list. Your business is unique to you. Make sure you do your research and evaluate your business needs as step one so that you know what you are, in fact, looking for. Security, as we mentioned, is a big one.
- Ask the software companies you are investigating for a detailed breakdown of their security protocol.
- Request uptime statistics. What levels of customization are available?
- Ask for references so that you can get firsthand knowledge of the client onboarding experience, the implementation process and the service and support that is offered for the duration of your technological business partnership.
- Consider your need for GPS stamping on your submitted serve attempts and final statuses. What about an integrated A/R Module? A client web portal? A smartphone app?
- Is there training involved? Get details on how technical support works so that you are prepared from day one to ensure your expectations are met.
Take this new found knowledge and empower yourself with education!
Written by Irina Nordstrom, Tristar Software LLC
Information compiled from Optimizing Case Management with Technology Panel Discussion at AALPI & APSA 2015 with Honorable Mentions – Trent Carlyle, Irina Nordstrom, Jeremy Church, Ian Ricketson & Kyle Propes.